Credits: 5

Schedule: 12.09.2016 - 21.10.2016

Teacher in charge (valid 01.08.2018-31.07.2020): 

Katja Hölttä-Otto & Markku Koskela

Teaching Period (valid 01.08.2018-31.07.2020): 


Learning Outcomes (valid 01.08.2018-31.07.2020): 

After completion of the course the student:

  • Will be able to reframe a problem taking into account the different stakeholders as well as the societal impact
  • Will understand how to design with incomplete information
  • Will be able to apply user centered design
  • Will understand the value of and be able to apply iterative prototyping
  • Will be able to communicate fluently orally, by writing as well as by visual and other means
  • Will be able to work in international interdisciplinary team


Content (valid 01.08.2018-31.07.2020): 

The course, part of a global ME310/Sugar network, is one of the most intensive, yet rewarding project courses taught at Aalto University. Students of design, business and engineering come together as interdisciplinary teams to work on a year-long real-life challenge brought forward by an international company.

During this year they partner up with students from other universities in the global ME310/SUGAR network to form a global design team.

Through the course of the project, students learn, apply, and experience the Stanford Design Thinking Process. The process is based on need finding, benchmarking, iterative prototyping and user testing to enable students to quickly learn about the field at hand and create and validate innovative ideas. User insights are uncovered and creative solutions are developed, engaging a range of different design thinking tools and techniques. The result is a detailed design solution that integrates desirability, viability and feasibility.


For further information, please visit the webpage:


Assessment Methods and Criteria (valid 01.08.2018-31.07.2020): 

The program starts around Mid-September and finishes around the 10th of June. Compulsory attendance days are the days when workshops and lectures are organized. The students can then arrange themselves with their own team when they prefer to work. The program is also one of the most intensively taught at Aalto University and requires full commitment from the students. The last quarter is often compared to a full-time job.

Students go through a first hectic month of small challenges to get acquainted with hands-on methodologies. In the end of this first month students get to know their global project brief and their new team. After that students usually get a chance to travel to meet their global partners and other in the ME310/SUGAR network. They don’t only meet their global teammates and take part in design-thinking workshops and but also get a glimpse of the Silicon-Valley culture.

The course is graded mostly as a team, but there is also an individual component.

Workload (valid 01.08.2018-31.07.2020): 

The course will meet on Wednesdays and Fridays with a semi-regular schedule. As needed some events may happen also on the other days, including a one week trip to a member university of the global ME310/Sugar network. The course consists of lectures, challenges, reviews and significant project work. Below is an estimate of the workload per week:

Lectures/workshops: 4 hrs

Small group meetings: 2 hrs

Teamwork: 10 hrs

Individual work: 4 hrs

Course Homepage (valid 01.08.2018-31.07.2020):

Grading Scale (valid 01.08.2018-31.07.2020): 


Registration for Courses (valid 01.08.2018-31.07.2020): 

WebOodi  AND please note separate application before registration:


Further Information (valid 01.08.2018-31.07.2020): 

This is part of the ME310 course sequence. Students are expected to take all of the following courses as a sequence during one academic year.

  • MEC-E3100: ME310 Team based design orientation, 5 ECTS
  • MEC-E3101: ME310 Global Innovation Course 1/3, 5 ECTS
  • MEC-E3102: ME310 Global Innovation Course 2/3, 5 ECTS
  • MEC-E3103: ME310 Global Innovation Course 3/3, 10 ECTS

In addition, students are expected to take (or to have taken) the following course:

  • MEC-E3002: Methods in Early Product Development, 5 ECTS

More information: